HFP in Oman: How to book Oman Air flights using Etihad Guest miles

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This article looks at how to book Oman Air flights using frequent flyer miles.

Over the last few weeks we have been running a series of articles on my recent trip to Oman.

If you are not familiar with Oman you can read our overview here to set the scene.

My review of the Gulf Air lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 – which is the one used by Oman Air – is here.  More importantly, my review of Oman Air’s very impressive First Class Suite is here.  My hotel stay, at the Al Bustan Palace, is reviewed hereMy review of the new Oman Air business class lounge in Muscat is here.  Finally, my review of Oman Air business class is here.

How to book Oman Air with frequent flyer miles

If you want to try Oman Air‘s excellent product to Muscat, you don’t have many options if you want to use miles.

Oman Air is NOT in a major airline alliance.  However, it does have one airline partnership which you can use – with Etihad Guest.

Here is the Oman Air redemption chart when you are paying with Etihad Guest miles – click here (PDF).

Scroll down to Muscat-London and you see:

Economy – 22,000 Etihad Guest miles each way

Business – 44,000 Etihad Guest miles each way

First – 80,000 Etihad Guest miles each way (but see below)

The new-ish Manchester route is not listed.  I’m not sure if that means it can’t be booked or if Etihad Guest has not got round to updating its list yet.

How to book Oman Air with frequent flyer miles

But there is a snag ….

At some pont in recent months, Etihad Guest has stopped you being able to book Oman Air First Class.

I found a report online of it being bookable back in January.  However, two HFP readers have individually contacted me in recent weeks to say that it cannot be done any longer.  (Yes, they did hang up and call again … with the same result.)

So …. you need to ignore the reward chart on the Etihad Guest website.  You can’t book First Class.

The good news ….

Business Class IS still bookable with Etihad Guest miles.

Two Business Class seats are released per flight.  Availability for Etihad Guest miles matches that shown on the Oman Air website if you create a Sinbad frequent flyer account and search for seats.

The taxes for Business Class are around £225 return, which is excellent value given that Air Passenger Duty accounts for virtually all of that.

Amusingly, it is substantially cheaper to redeem Etihad Guest miles for a Business Class seat on Oman Air to Muscat (88,000 miles return) than to book on Etihad itself to Abu Dhabi (roughly 125,000 miles return)!

It is also substantially cheaper than using Avios on British Airways, which costs 100,000 Avios off-peak or 120,000 Avios peak plus £500+ of taxes and charges.

How to book Oman Air with frequent flyer miles

How to earn Etihad Guest miles

If you don’t fly Etihad or its partners on a regular basis, the only way to get hold of the miles you need for this trip is via a points conversion.

Etihad Guest is a partner with all of the major hotel schemes.  It is no longer a partner with Heathrow Rewards, however.

Looking at the credit card options, Etihad no longer has its own UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These are:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – up to 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile.

Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent, reviewed here) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent, reviewed here).

Thanks to Rich and Simon for their help with this.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Yorkieflyer says:

    Interesting, can you book singles?

    • Gomigo says:

      Yes, you can. Half of round trip miles. Muscat outbound taxes are high as well.

  2. Etihad related – We’ve just done a 4 flight return holiday to the Maldives with them but the only flight showing on my account is the third flight from Male to AbuDhabi. Do I wait for it to go through in time or should I contact CS?

    • I have found flights credited within 48 hours, or not at all.
      If more than this time has passed, you need to submit a claim.

      • +1

        They often miss out one sector on four sector flights, so call and ask them to credit the missing miles.

  3. Also just to be aware of. Etihad miles expire exactly 2 years after they are credited. No way to stop them expiring after that date has passed. Seoul to Prague is also a sweet spot on Etihad as previously posted.

    Oman Air is extremely comfortable especially on the old style business class. You get three windows! Plus there Sultanate local speciality food is excellent.

  4. Memesweeper says:

    List of transfer partners here:

    https://www.etihadguest.com/en/earn-miles/points-transfer.html

    Bonvoy/SPG included.

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